Friel strikes again to secure double glory

Donal O Brien
Donal O Brien

Garbhan Friel was the Cockhill Celtic hero once again as his winning goal defeated Swilly Rovers in the League Cup final on Saturday.

Friel’s hat-trick six days’ beforehand at Leckview Park against Letterkenny Rovers sealed a 3-2 win that was enough for Donal O’Brien’s side to reclaim the Ulster Senior League title.

On Saturday, there was nothing between the teams until four minutes from time when a deflected effort from the former Finn Harps frontman meant the League Cup would be spending another year on the Inishowen peninsula.

Swilly, who have won back-to-back Konockalla Caravans Cups, put up a brave fight until the bitter end.

Cockhill did the majority of the pressing and Jason Gibson’s Swilly team defended heroically.

That said, as early as the 10th minute, Cockhill had goalkeeper Gavin Cullen to thank for an excellent stop from Calvin Mooney.

At the other end, Gareth Wade made a smart block from Friel and Marty Boyce blocked the follow-up from Gerry Gill.

Friel also tested Wade at the start of the second half and Mark Moran also drew a save from the Swilly goalkeeper.

Cockhill Celtic are back in action in the Four Lanterns USL on Sunday, when they take on Derry City Reserves. O’Brien, of course, once graced the Candy Stripes side himself.

The home fixture kicks off at 2pm.